Amazon adds UDP load balancing support for Network Load Balancer

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Yesterday, Amazon announced support for load balancing UDP traffic on Network Load Balancers, which will enable it to deploy connectionless services for online gaming, IoT, streaming, media transfer, and native UDP applications. This has been a long requested feature by Amazon customers.

The Network Load Balancer is designed to handle tens of millions of requests per second while maintaining high throughput at ultra low latency, with no effort on the users part. UDP load balancing will give users the liberty to no longer maintain a fleet of proxy servers to ingest UDP traffic, and instead use the same load balancer for both TCP and UDP traffic. Hence simplifying the network architecture, reducing users cost and scalability.

Supported Targets

UDP on Network Load Balancers is supported for Instance target types only. It does not support IP target types and PrivateLink.

Health Checks

Health checks must be done using TCP, HTTP, or HTTPS. Users can check on the health of a service by clicking override and specifying a health check on the selected port. Users can then run a custom implementation of Syslog that stores the log messages centrally and in a highly durable form.


Multiple Protocols

A single Network Load Balancer can handle both TCP and UDP traffic. In situations like DNS, when support of TCP and UDP is both needed on the same port, user can set up a multi-protocol target group and a multi-protocol listener.

New CloudWatch Metrics

The existing CloudWatch metrics (ProcessedBytes, ActiveFlowCount, and NewFlowCount) can  now represent the aggregate traffic processed by the TCP, UDP, and TLS listeners on the given Network Load Balancer.

Users who host DNS, SIP, SNMP, Syslog, RADIUS and other UDP services in their own data centers can now move their services to AWS. It is also possible to deploy services to handle Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting, often known as AAA.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched the TLS Termination support for Network Load Balancer. It simplifies the process of building secure web applications by allowing users to make use of TLS connections that terminate at a Network Load Balancer.

Users are delighted with Amazon’s support for load balancing UDP traffic.

A user on Hacker News comments,“This is a Big Deal because it enables support for QUIC, which is now being standardized as HTTP/3. To work around the TCP head of line blocking problem (among others) QUIC aises UDP. QUIC does some incredible patching over legacy decisions in the TCP and IP stack to make things faster, more reliable, especially on mobile networks, and more secure.

Another comment reads, “This is great news, and something I’ve been requesting for years. I manage an IoT backend based on CoAP, which is typically UDP-based. I’ve looked at Nginx support for UDP, but a managed load balancer is much more appealing.

Some users see this as Amazon’s way of preparing ‘http3 support’ for the future.

Another user on Hacker News wrote, “Nice! I wonder if this is a preparatory step for future quick/http3 support?

For details on how to create a UDP Network Load Balancer, head over to Amazon’s official blog.

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